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Social Insurance Agency 'too slow': report

TT/Christine Demsteader · 29 Jan 2010, 11:47

Published: 29 Jan 2010 11:47 GMT+01:00

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Much of the criticism surrounds the long waiting times for applications to be processed, especially in cases where people have little or no other means of financial support.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman (Justitieombudsmannen, JO) investigated cases at 13 Försäkringskassan offices around the country.

According to SVT's news programme Rapport, the inquiry reveals the authority is severely lacking in terms of service and knowledge in matters concerning benefit applications.

In one case, a person had to wait eight months for a compensation decision, despite the fact that Försäkringskassan knew they were wholly reliant on the money in question.

Another example delves into the case of a person in Halland, western Sweden, who was forced to wait half a year until their pension was finally processed.

JO adds in its report that a five-month wait to handle a decision on parental leave benefits is unacceptable. It also points to a separate incident where the serious nature of the agency's poor service led to secret documents being leaked.

Story continues below…

JO is now demanding that the 13 offices in question introduce measures to improve their service and reduce waiting times.

TT/Christine Demsteader (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:03 January 29, 2010 by byke
National Taxes and insurance schemes were designed to protect Swedens citizens. If this fails, then there is something wrong. Whats the point on insurance if you pay in but cant get the help when needed.
10:07 January 29, 2010 by byke
"The inquiry reveals the authority is severely lacking in terms of service and knowledge in matters concerning benefit applications."

I think this says everything.

If you dont have knowledge in the job you are supposed to do, then you need to be fired and a suitable replacement who does know what they are doing.

This is like having a fire brigade employed but not turning up to fires or arriving too late when the damage has been done.
10:37 January 29, 2010 by DAVID T
Well to be fair the system is overloaded - to many people have been playing the System. I know a girl who has never worked in 10 years and has everything paid by Försäkringskassan. Sweden needs workers but they let the wrong people in.
11:01 January 29, 2010 by Puffin
The problems seem to stem from the huge reorganisation that the government forced through in 2008 - it seems crazy to demand huge staff reductions and cut backs at a time that the workload is increasing due to the recession and 2 major social insurance reforms in parental insurance and dental insurance.

- 80% of the local offices were closed - 10,000 staff were moved to new jobs and 3000 staff were let go

- new 'customer service centres' were set up as document processing centres - but the staff were not used to working in this way - but many experienced staff did not want to move there - therefore many claims were dealt with by inexperienced and poorly trained new staff

- there had been the IT debacle where millions was spent on IT consultants yet the new system didn't work and wa scrapped

- The Managing Director was forced to quit
12:39 January 29, 2010 by M-Larson
The Social Insurance is one of the best features of our wonderful SVERIGE. We are highly distinguishable and being marked as a well-being nation. Therefore, we ought to solve any issue regarding that.
15:02 January 30, 2010 by ameribrit
I went to the dentist in Dec, just to discover that Försäkringskassan had not even put me in the system yet. This was only 7 months after my residency was issued by Migrationsverket though, so I guess it is ok. Turns out that Försäkringskassan get to make their own determination of whether a person meets residency criteria or not. A month and loads of paperwork later I am still not registered in the great social welfare system. At least I have access to health care I guess.
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